Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday Is My Monday

Today is my Monday. I decree it so. Yes, I know it's actually Tuesday, but yesterday was catastrophe after catastrophe, leaving me completely exhausted mentally and physically by three in the afternoon without having any writing to show for it. Real life can be so demanding that way, showing up at the most inconvenient moments, when I have deadlines calling my name.

Not that today will be much better, to be honest. Tuesday afternoons have two different guitar lessons, mine and my son's, and tonight is the band/choir concert at my daughter's high school. I'm part of the bake sale committee for the band boosters, which means I'll be arriving with twenty dozen cookies of seven different varieties that I've made over the past two days to sell. That was actually the only non-stressful part of the past two days. I volunteer because it gives me an excuse to bake without having to have all the sugar stay at my house. We can have a cookie or two apiece of each kind, then I get to send all the rest off. Sweet deal, if you ask me.

So maybe that means Wednesday will actually be my Monday. Considering I only have three hours of viable writing time today, I might have to consider that.

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Day of Deference

In deference to the memory of all those who lost their lives on this infamous day in American history, I'm not blogging or hanging out on social media as I usually do on Friday.

Instead, I'm going to focus on my family and the gift I've been granted by having them in my life. Time is precious. Lives are too short.

Honor the dead by embracing the living.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

TBT: Budding Hopes

MLR Press put out a submission call a couple weeks ago that has my brain awhirl. As soon as I have a little room in my schedule, I'm going to write something for it. It'll be nice to work with them again. It's a great family, incredibly supportive of all of their authors.

Budding Hopes was the last story I had come out at MLR, three years ago for Valentine's Day. It's a romantic little ditty set in 1950s Baltimore about a flower shop employee and the doctor who visits him every week.

For eight months, Dr. Mark Vance has been visiting Sheehan's Nursery to buy flowers for his mother's grave, and every week, Hal Sheehan slips an extra lily into the bunch. Mark would love nothing more than to get to know the gentle giant better, but in 1954 Baltimore, a man just doesn't ask another man out. His fears are compounded when a visit the day before Valentine's casts doubts on Hal's intentions. Maybe he really was meant to live a life of secrets. Or maybe he just needs the holiday to discover the best secret of them all.

The excerpt at the publisher site is the opening of the story. Honestly, I adore this romantic story. The time period was fraught with fear and still rife with possibility, and the potential of Mark and Hal still gives my hope a flutter. At some point, I'd really like to write a follow-up and see how they are doing.

Check it out at MLR!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Loving Luther

Like so many others, I adore Idris Elba, but I've only just recently started watching what's probably some of his best work--Luther. For those who don't know, it's a BBC crime show about a damaged cop, but man, it is so much more than that. Elba is intense and riveting, but it's got an outstanding supporting cast as well. I've only just finished the first season--that was one advantage to being so sick the past week, I got to watch a lot of television--but I'm anxious for the rest.

Look at him. And you know who else is in season 1?

The hypnotic Ruth Wilson. I have a friend who has been desperately in love with her since watching The Affair, so I'm pressuring him to give Luther a go. I have no idea how much longer she'll be on, but whatever he can get, I'm sure he's going to love it.

But there's others worth noting. Paul McGann. Saskia Reeves. The adorable Warren Brown.

If you haven't checked this show out yet, you need to do it now. It's streaming on Netflix. Treat yourself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Before You Know It

I wish I could say I'm all better, but I'm not. I spent most of the last week curled up on the couch with no energy and a cough that wouldn't quit. While I'm still pushing myself back to health, the one bright side was that I got to watch a lot of movies and TV.

One of those movies was the documentary, Before You Know It. It follows three senior citizens, all of whom happen to be gay. There's Dennis, a widowed crossdresser who wanders from his home in Florida to a retirement community in Oregon to a gay cruise in search of companionship. There's Robert, an aging drag queen who owns a bar in Texas and is surrounded by friends. There's Ty, a gay rights activist in NYC who seems the most well-adjusted of the three. There is no judgment or even intense scrutiny here. The filmmaker seems content in capturing these men as they truly are, though a distinct melancholy permeates the entire film.

The men couldn't be any more different, and yet, in a lot of ways, their stories are universal. Dennis represents the loneliness that plagues so many senior citizens. All he wants is company, and though he's treated politely by the younger generations, he spends most of the movie a single satellite roving around the world. Robert seems to be happy, with raucous friends who would do anything for him, and yet his health is failing and he suffers from depression as he mourns his dead partner. These are issues that plague many of our older generation. They're not unique to these men just because they're gay. It doesn't take away from how affecting it can be, but at the same time, I couldn't shake the feeling that there were some real missed opportunities. I liked the documentary, but I didn't love it.

But you be the judge. It's streaming on Netflix right now.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Calling it early this week

Though I would love to have a real post for today and tomorrow, I've managed to catch my daughter's cold and have been pretty useless for the past couple days. So I'm going to cut my losses early this week, and wish everybody a good weekend now.

We don't have any plans for the American holiday, but if you go, have fun!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WIP Wednesday - The Naked Remedy

I'm in the throes of finishing off this novella for an upcoming Amber Allure pax. The pax is about connections made via communications, like Grindr, online dating, and even letter writing. Mine is called The Naked Remedy and is about a young closeted man in his 20s who falls for a blog owner.

This is how it opens...


I've seen a lot of naked guys online. Don't believe me? Look at the facts. I'm a twenty-six year-old closeted gay man with undiagnosed social anxieties who still lives at home. I do have a job, though. I'm not that pathetic. I'm a sonographer at the hospital which actually pays well enough for me to rent a place of my own if I wasn't so nervous about breaking out of my comfort zone.

So looking at naked men on my laptop? That's been the model of my dating life for the past seven years.

But when I saw him...he might as well have been the first. I stared. A lot. I didn't back out or click forward or scroll down or do anything that would erase him from my screen. It was like I had only just discovered how beautiful the male body could be.

He stood in roiling surf, the pinking sky behind him announcing the coming dawn. His sturdy body faced the horizon, arms thrown out in welcome, the smile he threw over his broad shoulder at the photographer radiating joy, but just as compelling as that were the scars that snaked down his right hip and thigh.

Though light brown hair furred his legs, arms, and even the robust curve of his ass, the twisting scars were devoid of any texture but the badge of long-healed skin. The right calf was noticeably smaller than its mate, more evidence of whatever tragedy had caused the scars in the first place. I felt like a voyeur, staring at the imperfections, but I dismissed my unease. He obviously knew he was being photographed. He'd even stripped down for it.

This was a man who wanted to be seen.

No text accompanied the picture. It wasn't a surprise. People shared other people's pics all the time, and this one in particular hadn't merited more than a few hundred when I stumbled across it. When I scrolled down through the list, however, an anonymous fan added a link with its note.

The dude from the Naked Remedy. He rocks.

The Naked Remedy. I'd never heard of that. A guick Google search brought it up first, though, so I clicked on it to get more information.

I'm not sure if my world changed when I saw the blog or when I first saw his picture. I suppose in the end it doesn't really matter which was responsible. The important part was that nothing was the same after that.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Unconventional Hotties - Chris O'Dowd

I have been in love with Chris O'Dowd since I saw Bridesmaids. He was quirky and funny and adorable. How could I not?

It made me look for him in other projects, like the IT Crowd, and follow his career afterward, like in The Sapphires. My opinion never changed. He's just too adorable for words, and who doesn't love that accent?